Mitch Clark faces foot surgery and will miss up to eight weeks
MELBOURNE key forward Mitch Clark will miss the next six to eight weeks after specialists decided on surgery to remove a screw from his injured foot.
The surgery was planned for the end of the year but has been brought forward because Clark has been experiencing soreness.
Last season, Clark suffered a LisFranc injury in round 13 against Greater Western Sydney and he was forced to miss the rest of the season.
In 2013, he returned in round one after one practice game in the VFL and played in the first four AFL games. However he once again sprained his foot in round four against the Giants and underwent scans last week.
Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said that while the need for immediate surgery was disappointing, the LisFranc repair was strong and stable.
"While this is obviously disappointing for Mitch, and any operation during the season is not ideal, the benefit is that after Mitch recovers he will be able to play the second half of the year and begin pre-season without any further interruptions."
It is a major blow for the Demons, who hoped to have twin talls Clark and Chris Dawes roaming its forward 50 in 2013.
However Dawes is yet to play because of hamstring problems while Clark battled through the first four games, kicking seven goals but moving with less freedom than he had before the foot injury.